Welcome to another awesome Sunday. The dreaded Monday is just around the corner and I got a special treat to dull the pain of tomorrow. Today I am featuring Fantasy author Katie Holland’s latest book, ‘Hunting Briar’. She was even nice enough to give us a sneak peek. Check it out below.
I wanted out. I hated the things my mother and her coven were doing. The death and destruction were just too much for me to handle. I wasn’t like them, but I had to pretend to be so they wouldn’t suspect that I wanted to leave. All I had to do was survive another few hours. When I turned eighteen, the magic they used to track me would be gone, and they couldn’t stop me from leaving then. I knew they would search for me, but I wasn’t going to let them find me.
Being the most powerful witch born in a century, they wanted to use my power for their purposes, but there was no way I was going to let that happen. I would die before I let them use me for their evil plans. I had a plan in place and there was less than twenty-four hours before I was free. Nothing was going to stop me.
I know I was being watched constantly. But I had a distraction in place that was sure to get their attention. It was going to be my only hope of escape.
The entire Moon coven was preparing for the celebration of my birthday. It was going to start at midnight, and then at the exact time of my birth, I was supposed to become a full-fledged member of the coven. That was not going to happen.
My mother had picked the spot for this event. We were in the middle of the woods that was owned by the coven. We’d had many celebrations here, so I was familiar with the area, which was going to be a big help. While the rest of the coven was busy doing whatever my mother told them to, I was busy preparing my distraction. It was going to take a lot on my part to pull it off, and hopefully, luck was going to be on my side.
When I thought I was prepared enough, I came out of my hiding spot and found my mother.
“Briar,”she said tersely, “where have you been? There are things you need to do for your ceremony. Hurry up and get them done.”
“Yes mother,” I said. It was my standard response.
My mother was the head of our coven and no one ever said no to her. She was a powerful air element witch, and if someone disobeyed her, they usually found themselves swept up by the wind. Sometimes we saw them again and sometimes we didn’t.
That was one of the reasons I wanted to leave. I was nothing like my mother and I was afraid that if I stayed, I would turn into her– only a more powerful version.
I went to the tent that had been set up for me to prepare for the ceremony. I went through the motions of doing what my mother asked. I had to make it seem like I was excited about joining the coven in case anyone checked on me, but I was actually using that time to go through my mental checklist.
I knew it was almost time when my cousin came to the tent to help me. The ceremony required me to be naked, which was actually no big deal for me. A lot of our ceremonies required it and it was a normal part of how I grew up. My cousin was painting the symbols on me that my mother required, Air, Water, Earth, and Fire. I was able to control all four elements, which was extremely rare. That’s what made me special.
When she was done, she left me to go join the rest of the coven. I could already hear the chanting and knew it wouldn’t be long before I was summoned to the circle. I took a deep breath, I was ready. It was time to start my distraction.
Closing my eyes, I pictured a storm rolling in. I was trying to make it look as natural as possible, so no one suspected it was me. I heard the wind pick up and knew I was successful.
“Briar, it’s time,” my mother said, from outside the tent.
I walked out and smiled at the feel of the coming storm. Of course, my mother thought I was smiling at her, and I let her think that.
“Briar,”she said, “I can’t wait to have you by my side as a full member of this coven. I know you’ll do us proud.”
I just nodded. If only she knew what I was thinking. She’d lock me up forever. Good thing I was able to keep her out of my head.
We walked over to the group of women who I had grown up with. I didn’t think I was going to miss any of them when I left. It’s possible that some of them used to be good people, but my mother had corrupted them all.
The closer we got to the rest of the coven, the stronger the wind was getting, but luckily no one seemed to notice. My mother and I walked through the women and into the center of the circle. Then she started the ceremony.
“Friends and fellow witches, it is with great honor that tonight we make my daughter a full member of this glorious Moon Coven.”
I tuned out the next part, because it was time to make my escape. Thunder rumbled in the distance and my hair blew in the wind. I stood there and willed the storm to intensify. That part was easy. Making it look like I wasn’t concentrating on the storm was the hard part.
I saw my mother pull out the dagger. It was now or never. That dagger was created with very dark magic, and once she cut me with that thing, I would be hers forever.
Lightning started to strike all around us, breaking trees in half and starting a few fires. Then the wind and rain started. The rain was so heavy, I could barely see my hand in front of my face. The tornado strength winds were so strong, I saw a few witches get blown away and the rest started trying to find a place to hide. Everyone scattered, except for my mother. She stood her ground and looked me directly in the eye.
“This is your doing Briar,” she yelled at me, over the sounds of the storm.
“Yes,” I yelled back. “I will never be part of this evil you’ve created. Goodbye, mother.”
My mother started to come after me, so I sent a bolt of lightning straight into her. It hit and she flew back about ten feet. Since she was an air element witch, it wouldn’t kill her, but it did knock her unconscious, and that was what I needed.
I didn’t know how long I had, so I ran. I left the storm raging out of control. I needed to wash away any evidence of what direction I was going. I ran to the place I’d stashed my clothes and money, and kept on running through the woods. I had to get as far away from there as possible.
As I ran, I felt a sense of freedom I’d never known before. I was no longer under the control of my mother. It was time for me to be who I was meant to be.
Born the most powerful witch in a century, Briar’s power is potentially limitless. With her mother coveting her power, Briar will do anything to stop her mother from using it for her own evil purposes. On Briar’s eighteenth birthday she manages to escape the coven she was raised in. She spends the next two years on the run, hiding her power and hoping her mother doesn’t find her.
Mystic Haven, Louisiana was supposed to be just another stop, but she was offered a job at the nearby school for witches and warlocks. Since Waverly Academy placed the security of it’s staff and students as their top priority she felt safe enough to stay. Briar slowly let her guard down and allowed people into her circle. With the help of her best friend and new boyfriend she begins to find out who she really is. But will living as her true self allow mother find her and drag her back into the life she wants nothing to do with?
Author of Young Adult and Romance books. If Katie’s not writing you can find her reading, cooking or baking for her family. Her love of writing goes back to elementary school and her love of books goes back even farther than that. She takes inspiration from the everyday and lets her imagination take over. She loves seeing new places and enjoying what nature has to offer.
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